STANFORD, Calif.- Chasson Randle scored a game-high 16 points to lead four starters in double figures as Stanford easily handled UC Davis 83-56 on Saturday night at Maples Pavilion.
Back on the court for the first time in 13 days due to its annual extended break for finals, Stanford (7-2) displayed little signs of rust on both sides of the ball.
Stanford executed well offensively, shooting 58.5 percent overall and 65.4 percent (17-26) in the second half. The Cardinal dished out a season-high 22 assists, six coming from Dwight Powell. Stanford knocked down 11-20 from beyond the arc, with Randle connecting on 5-6 chances from deep.
Meanwhile, the Cardinal’s defense smothered UC Davis (3-8), which was limited to 34.5 percent shooting overall as Stanford built a 40-23 halftime lead. The Aggies committed 14 turnovers and were out of sync for much of the game.
Powell notched his second double-double of the year, chipping in with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Cardinal also received 15 points from Anthony Brown and Josh Huestis, whose four blocks moved him into a tie with Curtis Borchardt on the school’s all-time list at 146.
UC Davis was led by Georgi Funtarov, who finished with 13 points and six rebounds.
After scoring the first eight points of the game, Stanford stretched its lead to 22-5 with 8:59 left before intermission following a three-pointer from John Gage.
UC Davis cut the deficit to 10 points twice in the final five minutes before the Cardinal closed the first half on an 11-4 scoring run.
Randle’s third three-pointer of the game gave Stanford its first 20-point lead in the first possession after halftime at 43-23.
A 13-3 scoring run midway through the second half resulted in Stanford’s first 30-point cushion, as a jumper from Brown made it 73-43 with 6:52 remaining.
Stanford next embarks on a challenging road trip, beginning with No. 9/12 Connecticut in Hartford on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m. PT. Three days later, the Cardinal returns to Brooklyn for the second time in a month to face Michigan in the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational presented by adidas.
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NOTES: Stanford improved to 17-1 all-time against UC Davis and has won five in a row in the series … The Cardinal has won its last seven “first-game-back” contests following the extended finals break. Stanford’s last loss was a 62-46 defeat to Santa Clara on Dec. 16, 2006, following a 13-day layoff … Stanford shot 65.4 percent in the second half, making 17-26 from the field … The Cardinal has scored at least 80 points five times this year and is 4-1 in such games … John Gage added seven points and four rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench. Gage finished 3-5 after entering the contest shooting 1-7 over his last five games … Anthony Brown was 2-3 from long distance and is now shooting 60.0 percent (21-35) from three-point territory … For only the second time this year, Stefan Nastic was held without a free throw attempt … Of Stanford’s 35 rebounds, 30 came on the defensive end … Stanford is 69-24 at home and 59-19 against nonconference opponents under head coach Johnny Dawkins.
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Head coach Johnny Dawkins
"I was really proud of our guys. Coming off finals and being away from the game for two weeks is always difficult. Our guys came ready and were prepared. It is tough to have practices during finals because not everyone is going to be at every practice for the entire practice. Our guys did a great job of staying focused and following the game plan. We had 22 assists and 12 turnovers. That is trending in the right direction for us and is something I addressed the team about."
"We are looking forward to Connecticut and Michigan. We wanted a tough schedule and wanted to play these games prior to conference play starting. We have a terrific conference and our teams are having a lot of success around the country. It is important for us going into conference play to play teams that are a similar caliber as what we will face. We have scheduled that way."
"We have been spending a lot more time on our defense. We made an effort to clear up some things defensively that we thought were hurting us. Our guys bought into that. They understand the importance of defending and what that does for you to have a chance to win. We are getting better defensively and there is still some room to improve for us. We will show the guys that on tape but I like where we are headed defensively."
"I'm proud of our guys. We had a long stretch where we didn't have a game. Guys were antsy and wanted to get back on the court. I was glad to see that we came out focused. We hadn't played against anybody but ourselves in practice for almost two weeks. I am happy with the way we came out defensively, had things flowing on offense and were sharing the ball well. I thought that important for our first game back after having a long time off."
"We have a lot of offensive weapons. It is important for us to share the ball in our offense. We have different guys in different attack positions spread around the floor. The more we can take advantage of guys’ strengths, the more in tune we can be as an offense. It makes everything a lot easier when guys are doing what they do best in comfortable situations. Seeing multiple guys scoring, rebounding and having assists is crucial for this team."
"Defense is something we hang our hats on. We are always trying to get stronger and impose our will on that end of the court. Communication is always something we work on and are trying to improve. We try to make sure everyone is on the same page at all times because our defensive schemes change depending on situations and possessions. It is important to have everybody on the same page so communication is one of our biggest things."
"Every game is important when you are looking at your record. This game counts as one just as the next game counts as one. We come out with a 1-0 mentality every game and try to win the game in front of us. We are going to prepare the best we can."
UC Davis Head Coach Jim Les
“Stanford is really good and we have to get better. They have size, skill and they come at you in a number of different ways. We started two freshmen tonight and they led us in scoring and did some really good things. Those guys are being thrown to the wolves a little bit and are responding really well.”
“It would have been nice to have made some more shots early on; we dug ourselves a hole there. After missing a series of shots, it kind of becomes mental. I tell our guys that the best way to get out of this is to do all the other things -- get the rebound in traffic, get the loose balls, take a charge. That way offense eventually comes back; you get to the free throw line, you start getting better shots. Doing those things well get you going and get your confidence back up. We have too many good shooters on this team to continue shooting at this clip (34.5 percent in the game tonight).”